Prototypes of the Teacher-as-Reader: An Integration of Cognitive Categorization Theory with Research on the Teacher-as-Reader

By Besma Allagui.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Individuals make sense of the world by means of categorization. Creating cognitive prototypes—or
best examples—is considered an economical way of classifying objects. Much research on cognitive
prototypes has been conducted in areas of first language (L1) and second language (L2) reading. Cognitive
prototypes have been generally conceptualized as a tool of language comprehension that helps readers
to make inferences about what is meant, but not explicitly mentioned. Despite close connections between
reading and writing processes, the construct of cognitive prototypes has not yet been applied to the
realm of L2 writing. Applying cognitive prototypes can be useful in explaining how writers visualize
readers’ expectations, needs and likes. This is especially important when readers are not well defined,
as is the case for teachers-as-readers. This paper attempts to introduce the concept of cognitive
prototypes into L2 writing by drawing on insights from cognitive categorization theory and L2 writing
and reading theories. It proposes a framework to think about cognitive prototypes of teachers–asreaders,
emphasizing the interrelationship between students-writers and teachers in their roles of
readers. Research hypotheses are formulated in the context of L2 writing in Tunisia and followed with
pedagogical implications.

Keywords: Teacher-as-reader, Cognitive Prototypes, Readers` Expectations, L2 Writing, L2 Reading

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 7, pp.21-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.323MB).

Besma Allagui

Lecturer, English Department, Higher Institute of Languages, Tunis, Tunisia

Besma Allagui is a lecturer at the Institut Superieur des Langues de Tunis, University of Carthage, Tunisia. She has an MA in Applied linguistics. She is currently working on a Ph.D. thesis on the role of teachers-readers. Her research interests include sociocultural influences on language learning, teacher/student interaction in the L2 classroom, L2 teaching methodology, and teacher education.

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